The Write Practice

The Online Writing Workbook



I have a soft spot for sarcasm. This is probably no surprise to anyone who has been following the Write Practice since the early days, but I often say that the primary love language of my family is sarcasm. It’s nothing too cutting; we understand where the line between sarcastic and downright hurtful is. This is probably why I love the word “snark” as much as I do. Fun fact: snark is a portmanteau of “snide remark”, which is one hundred percent the best definition of snark.

Storyboard Your Novel

My sister is in San Francisco this week, scouting the area, making connections, and hopefully moving in the next few months. My parents and I have shared that we would be very surprised if she was still in Pittsburgh come Halloween. She’s been to the Bay area a few times and has loved it, and [...]

Love Quadrilaterals and Other Polygons

Love Polygons

My friends and I were hanging out over the long weekend, and somehow we got started quoting Love Actually. I love that movie, and it’s probably one of my favorite holiday films, but I was thinking today of why I liked it so much. I finally decided that it’s because it tells so many different love stories and makes you care about every one of the characters involved. It can definitely be a challenge to keep up with all the intertwined relationships, but you get the gist of them pretty quickly.

The Case Against Twilight

the case against twilight

I’m just going to say it. Stephenie Meyer is not a good writer. Cue the defensive comments below.

I’m not talking about her storytelling. Like I said, I haven’t read the books. I don’t know how Stephenie (good lord, all those e’s) puts together her paragraphs to form a cohesive narrative. I’ve only read excerpts. But you know what? You don’t need to know the storyline to critique poor sentence structure.

Here are my three arguments against Twilight.

How to Write Love Triangles from an Omniscient Perspective

Love Triangles

Ahhh, the love triangle. Stephenie Meyer’s favorite plot device. When you’re writing a love triangle from a first person or third person limited perspective, it’s hard to write a lot of multi-directional triangles. However, writing from a third-person omniscient perspective gives you the freedom to explore the other two prongs of the love triangle.

The Love Triangle

the love triangle

Sunday was one of those rare days in Denver where it rained all day long, which completely justified my decision to lay on the couch, order takeout, and watch Netflix all day. My roommate and I finished the evening with a viewing of I Love You, Man, which I had never seen and am so glad I watched. Paul Rudd and Jason Segel are America’s boyfriends.

The main three relationships of the movie are a twist on a classic rom-com trope called the love triangle, with Paul Rudd trying to become friends with Jason Segel while planning his wedding to Rashida Jones. It’s highly entertaining, but it made me think about other plays on the classic three-character relationship models.

Write a Sizzling Modern Adaptation of a Classic Story

Modern Adaptation Pride and Prejudice

Adaptations of classic stories are everywhere. Beyond the usual adaptations of Romeo and Juliet and Macbeth, some versions give more modern adaptations of the text. For example, everyone’s favorite teen movie of 1999, 10 Things I Hate About You, is based on William Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew.

Why write a modern adaptation of a classic story?

Give Your Characters the Myers Briggs Test

myers briggs characters star wars

Back at the end of April, we discussed using the Myers Briggs Type Indicator to develop your characters. We covered the more obvious personality traits: Extroversion vs. Introversion and Thinking vs. Feeling. I would feel bad if we didn’t take the plunge into rounding out all of the elements of the Myers Briggs test, so here we’re tackling Intuition vs. Sensing and Judging vs. Perceiving, which are often the harder Myers Briggs character traits to explain.

3 Reasons Why Letters and Diaries Are Essential to Your Story

When I was in high school, a drama teacher that I had my sophomore year made everyone in my class keep a journal. He kept them in his office, but never read them, and we would write every morning we had class. Some of us took the exercise more seriously than others (there was a minimum three line requirement), but after that year, he gave us the notebooks to keep. I had enjoyed journaling so much that I continued through my senior year and every summer that I worked at camp. When I was on the World Race, I kept a journal and filled it with stories, song lyrics that had meaning to me, a couple of creative writing exercises, and musings on the day’s events. It was a great way for me to get my thoughts recorded, although it wasn’t the prettiest writing I’ve ever done, and I’m sure other people who were participants in the retold stories might remember events differently than my versions.

If you’re looking for an alternative way to tell a story, there are a couple reasons to try a diary or epistolary format.

Is Your Protagonist a Thinker or a Feeler?

I just started reading The Perks of Being a Wallflower, having already seen the movie and feeling that I would like to do the work justice by also reading the book. I’m maybe 20 pages in and I can already tell that Charlie, the narrator and protagonist, has a lot of feelings. To be fair, he’s also undergoing some pretty intense stuff, so that’s understandable, but it seems like he’s very in tune with his emotions. One might say that he seems like he’d be a Feeler in the context of the Myers-Briggs type, but you’d have a skewed idea of what Feeling actually is.